Specific Use

Specifies distinctions in the applicability of a particular element.


This Tag Set does not limit the uses of the @specific-use attribute. As examples, @specific-use could be used to mark content (such as a paragraph, note, or section) that:
  • Is intended for organization internal use or Working Group use only;
  • Only appears in one format (“web-only”, “print-only”, “voice-only”, “electronic-only”); or
  • Contains an accessibility alternative that screen readers could “read” but that visual display devices would ignore. (See also the @alt attribute.)


No particular processing or display is promised by the values of this attribute; it is up to the organization’s application to make any appropriate display versions.
Best Practice: The @specific-use attribute is used to make usage or processing distinctions. This attribute is not used to make semantic distinctions; the attribute @content-type is more appropriate for semantic differences. Nor should this attribute be used to record lifecycle or version distinctions.
Complementary Attributes: The @specific-use attribute and the @content-type attribute can be used together. The @specific-use attribute can also be used in combination with the @xml:lang attribute to indicate, for example, that a compound name given in a second language is a transliteration of the primary compound name.
Style Differences: This attribute is not appropriate for differences in appearance; the element <styled-content> is typically better for that use.

Used on these Elements:

<abbrev>, <abstract>, <access-date>, <ack>, <addr-line>, <address>, <adoption>, <aff>, <ali:free_to_read>, <ali:license_ref>, <alt-text>, <alt-title>, <annotation>, <anonymous>, <app>, <app-group>, <array>, <attrib>, <author-comment>, <award-id>, <bio>, <body>, <bold>, <boxed-text>, <caption>, <chapter-title>, <chem-struct>, <chem-struct-wrap>, <city>, <code>, <collab>, <comment>, <compound-kwd>, <compound-subject>, <conf-acronym>, <conf-date>, <conf-loc>, <conf-name>, <conf-sponsor>, <contrib>, <contrib-group>, <contrib-id>, <copyright-holder>, <copyright-statement>, <copyright-year>, <country>, <custom-meta>, <data-title>, <date>, <date-in-citation>, <day>, <def>, <def-item>, <def-list>, <degrees>, <disp-formula>, <disp-formula-group>, <disp-quote>, <editing-instruction>, <edition>, <element-citation>, <elocation-id>, <email>, <era>, <etal>, <ext-link>, <fax>, <fig>, <fig-group>, <fixed-case>, <fn>, <fn-group>, <fpage>, <funding-source>, <glossary>, <gov>, <graphic>, <ics-wrap>, <index>, <index-div>, <index-entry>, <index-group>, <index-term>, <inline-formula>, <inline-graphic>, <inline-supplementary-material>, <institution>, <institution-id>, <isbn>, <issn>, <issn-l>, <issue>, <issue-id>, <issue-part>, <issue-title>, <italic>, <journal-id>, <kwd>, <kwd-group>, <license>, <license-p>, <list>, <list-item>, <long-desc>, <lpage>, <media>, <meta-date>, <meta-note>, <milestone-end>, <milestone-start>, <mixed-citation>, <monospace>, <month>, <name>, <named-content>, <nav-pointer>, <nested-kwd>, <nlm-citation>, <non-normative-example>, <non-normative-note>, <normative-example>, <normative-note>, <notes>, <notes-group>, <num>, <object-id>, <on-behalf-of>, <open-access>, <overline>, <p>, <page-range>, <part-of-speech>, <part-title>, <patent>, <person-group>, <phone>, <postal-code>, <prefix>, <preformat>, <price>, <private-char>, <pronunciation>, <pub-id>, <publisher-loc>, <publisher-name>, <rb>, <ref>, <ref-list>, <related-article>, <related-object>, <related-term>, <role>, <roman>, <rt>, <ruby>, <sans-serif>, <sc>, <season>, <sec>, <see>, <see-also>, <see-also-entry>, <see-entry>, <self-uri>, <series>, <sig>, <sig-block>, <size>, <source>, <speaker>, <speech>, <standard>, <state>, <statement>, <std>, <std-id>, <std-id-group>, <std-org-group>, <strike>, <string-name>, <styled-content>, <sub>, <subject>, <sub-part>, <subj-group>, <subtitle>, <suffix>, <sup>, <supplement>, <supplementary-material>, <table>, <table-wrap>, <table-wrap-group>, <target>, <term>, <term-display>, <term-sec>, <term-source>, <tex-math>, <textual-form>, <time-stamp>, <title>, <toc>, <toc-div>, <toc-entry>, <toc-group>, <trans-source>, <trans-subtitle>, <trans-title>, <trans-title-group>, <underline>, <uri>, <verse-group>, <verse-line>, <version>, <volume>, <volume-id>, <volume-series>, <xref>, <year>
Text, numbers, or special charactersA specific distinction in the applicability of a particular element, for example, “print-only”.
RestrictionThis attribute is optional; there is no default.


<isbn publication-format="online" specific-use="ISBN-13">978-0-7381-9350-2</isbn>
<isbn publication-format="print" specific-use="ISBN-13">978-0-7381-9351-9</isbn>